absorb

verb
ab·​sorb | \ əb-ˈsȯrb How to pronounce absorb (audio) , -ˈzȯrb How to pronounce absorb (audio) \
absorbed; absorbing; absorbs

Definition of absorb

transitive verb

1a : to take in (something, such as water) in a natural or gradual way a sponge absorbs water charcoal absorbs gas plant roots absorb water
b : to take in (knowledge, attitudes, etc.) : acquire, learn … convictions absorbed in youth …— M. R. Cohen
c : use up, consume The fever absorbed her strength. His work absorbs all his time and attention.
2 : to take in and make part of an existent whole the capacity of a country to absorb new immigrants
3 : to engage or engross wholly an interest that absorbs her completely absorbed in thought
4a(1) : to receive without recoil or echo provided with a sound-absorbing surface
(2) : endure, sustain absorbing hardships
(3) : assume, bear The expenses were absorbed by the company.
b : to transform (radiant energy) into a different form especially with a resulting rise in temperature The earth absorbs the sun's rays.

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Other Words from absorb

absorbability \ əb-​ˌsȯr-​bə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce absorbability (audio) , -​ˌzȯr-​ \ noun
absorbable \ əb-​ˈsȯr-​bə-​bəl How to pronounce absorbable (audio) , -​ˈzȯr-​ \ adjective
absorber noun

Examples of absorb in a Sentence

a fabric that absorbs sweat The walls are made of a material that absorbs sound. absorbing heat from the sun She is good at absorbing information. He has retained the values that he absorbed as a young man. a country that has absorbed many immigrants smaller countries invaded and absorbed by bigger ones His interest in photography absorbs him completely. I was so absorbed by her story that I lost track of time.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The 45-degree angle will help the water get more easily absorbed and draw them up the stems, while the sharp cut will further allow more water to seep through. Nikhita Mahtani, House Beautiful, "Absolutely Foolproof Ways to Make Spring Flowers Last Longer," 3 Apr. 2019 Researchers also plan to track the evolution of aerosols—minute particles that can either scatter or absorb sunlight, and play a major role in shaping climate. Warren Cornwall, Science | AAAS, "Scientists race to reveal how surging wildfire smoke is affecting climate and health," 31 May 2018 Sure, part of Lenovo’s sales growth has likely come from absorbing Fujitsu’s PC business last May. The company has also improved its product mix, selling more premium items such as gaming PCs and ultrathin laptops. Jacky Wong, WSJ, "The World’s Largest PC Maker Is No Longer a Bargain," 21 Feb. 2019 The material is prone to absorbing water, which can mess with how the sneaker’s cushioning works. Isadora Baum, SELF, "Here’s How to Clean Sneakers Depending on the Material," 17 Feb. 2019 The storage state is where the atom should end up after absorbing a photonic qubit. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Rough-and-ready quantum memory may link disparate quantum systems," 9 Nov. 2018 Companies affected by tariffs can respond by absorbing the extra expense, increasing prices, moving production to other countries or some combination of the three. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, "Pacemakers, ultrasound gear costs could rise from China trade tariffs," 7 July 2018 The Trump administration also promised $10 million in aid last month to assist countries such as Colombia in absorbing tens of thousands of people fleeing hunger and suppression in Venezuela. The Christian Science Monitor, "Why Trump can’t ignore Central America," 6 July 2018 Buehler has not pitched since June 8, having made three starts after absorbing a line drive in the ribs. Andy Mccullough, latimes.com, "Dodgers rookie Walker Buehler could rejoin team next week," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'absorb.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of absorb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for absorb

borrowed from Middle French assorber, absorber, asorbir, absorbir, going back to Old French, borrowed (with conjugation changes) from Latin absorbēre, from ab- ab- + sorbēre "to suck up, draw in, engulf," going back to Indo-European *sṛbh-eii̯̯e-, probably re-formed from *srobh-eii̯̯e-, iterative derivative from the verb base *srebh- "suck up, drink noisily"; akin to Greek rophéō, ropheîn "to drink in gulps," Armenian arbi "drank," Lithuanian srebiù, srė̃bti "to gulp," Old Russian sereblyu, serebati

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Statistics for absorb

Last Updated

18 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for absorb

The first known use of absorb was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for absorb

absorb

verb
ab·​sorb | \ əb-ˈsȯrb How to pronounce absorb (audio) , -ˈzȯrb\
absorbed; absorbing

Kids Definition of absorb

1 : to take in or swallow up A sponge absorbs water.
2 : to hold the complete attention of She was absorbed by the movie.
3 : to receive without giving back The walls of the theater absorb sound.
ab·​sorb | \ əb-ˈsȯ(ə)rb How to pronounce absorb (audio) , -ˈzȯ(ə)rb How to pronounce absorb (audio) \

Medical Definition of absorb

1 : to take up especially by capillary, osmotic, solvent, or chemical action surgical sutures which can be absorbed by the body the blood in the lungs absorbs oxygen
2 : to transform (radiant energy) into a different form usually with a resulting rise in temperature chlorophyll reflects green light and absorbs the other colors of light

Other Words from absorb

absorbable \ əb-​ˈsȯr-​bə-​bəl How to pronounce absorbable (audio) , -​ˈzȯr-​ How to pronounce absorbable (audio) \ adjective
absorber noun
ab·​sorb

Legal Definition of absorb

1 : to make (a right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution) applicable to the states
2a : to bear or assume the burden of expenses were absorbed by the company
b : to lessen the tax liability for has other losses to absorb the income— D. Q. Posin

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More from Merriam-Webster on absorb

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with absorb

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for absorb

Spanish Central: Translation of absorb

Nglish: Translation of absorb for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of absorb for Arabic Speakers

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